Picture of 3DPrintMi - Assembly Guide

3DPrintMi is an open source, Reprap 3D Printer designed and built from the ground up. As part of the Reprap movement, it has the ability to self replicate by printing a portion of itself and assembled together with fasteners.

For more information, please visit the links listed below:

After building my first 3D printer, the Printrbot+, I wanted to donate aka "Print It Forward" a set of plastic parts and share the 3D printing experience to someone else. There are many Reprap printers out there, readily available to download and print but it's not as easy as it sounds. Most of the documentations to build a Reprap are hard to follow, incomplete or non-existent and can be simply overwhelming for a newbie. After weeks of searching for a suitable Reprap printer to donate, I became more and more interested in designing my own. Something that's easy to build, print and provide all the documentation to do it. After much debate, I decided to do just that, build my own printer. Well, after 6 months of printing, iterating and more printing, 3DPrintMi was born! I have built two 3DPrintMi so far and wish to see it built elsewhere around the world.

Getting Started
This guide will provide you the step-by-step instructions on how to assemble the printer's frame, assuming that the user has already pre-assembled the electronics before hand. I highly recommend you review the pictorial guide to get a good sense of what to expect. The pictures are self explanatory and the written instructions are there to aid the assembly. Now let's have some fun!

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greenaar 2 months ago

I am midway through building one of these -- for the idlers however i'm considering replacing the printed roller with a sandwich of 8mm washer, oversized washer, 8mm washer, bearing, 8mm washer, oversized washer, 8mm washer, nut. I think that might spin a bit more freely, but i'll know shortly.

The bits I've been able to assemble thusfar have gone together well. Decent documentation.

I saw mention you'd made an aluminum extrusion model -- any plans to release instructions for that?

gyronictonic (author)  greenaar 2 months ago

The 8mm washers sandwich can work since it's been done with other repraps. Glad the instructions have been helpful with your build.

I still plan to release the documentations with the aluminum extrusion model. I've been caught up with other things in life eventually it will end up on the web.

wrister059 months ago

Hey! I am planning on building this with a few of my friends and was wondering where the full BOM list was. I see the link to it but i dont see the BOM on that link. All I see is the list of the 3D printed parts. Also, can you post a link on how you set up the electronics?

gmendez310 months ago

Hi!!! Im Gus from México City, tomorrow we are doing a massive 3D Printer Building party and we choose to build not 1 but 8 printers like this one! I´m sending you the photos of the event and everything. Thanks for sharing.

affiaymen11 months ago
Hi thanks for the post it's really helpful !
I made my 3d printer but I'm having troubles with powering the ramps 1.4 card.
It's not moving and I think it's a power problem.
12volt with 2 am can work?
I don't have a heating bed, can it work?
With your setup you need at least 5a but I recommended buying 20a because that's enough even if you have heated bed and I guess you will buy heated bed in future.
kali161 year ago
hi gyro what will be the cost of the entire unit , i want one for my home use
profort1 year ago
How much did it cost for the parts that were not made by other repraps please?
gyronictonic (author)  profort1 year ago
Do you need mean the non printed parts (hardware) or plastic parts that's not 3d printed?
The non-printed also please.
profort1 year ago
I was wondering about the total cost, because it is hard to find anyone able to sell me the printed parts inexpensively. Also, how much would it cost to have the plastic parts printed and shipped to the continental 48 please?
The ed1 year ago
This is great, can I use it for my Final Year Project?
gyronictonic (author)  The ed1 year ago
Yea man, go for it!
Typpa1 year ago
Hi Gyro ... I love your 3D Printer ... I live in Torino - Italy ... I not reprappers in Torino ... Is possible buy only Full set of printing materials ? Thanks
Is anyone making kits? I'd love to find one. Thanks for a great Instructable.
gyronictonic (author)  Ricardo Furioso2 years ago
No kits yet but I could start putting kits together. This is a open source reprap so hopefully other reprappers will start selling kits at a competitive price!
kits would really be very helpful for people (like me ^_^) in places where resources (material and human) for this project are very limited.

excellent instructable -- thanks and cheers!
gyronictonic (author)  zenTaurus2 years ago
I am going to start putting kits together. It may take a while since it's just me but PM me if anyone is still interested.
How about an instructable on PM-ing?
Great instructable! Been looking for a bot to build! Started printing the parts today! cant wait to assemble it.
3d printing a 3d printer, brilliant! Although somewhat difficult to obtain if you don't have a 3d printer already lol
Pavelos2 years ago
Awesome guide, thank you! I'll definitely start this project as soon as possible. Problem is that here in Finland is very hard to find place with 3D Printer for printable parts.
gyronictonic (author)  Pavelos2 years ago
Try asking around here for other reprappers around you
lsilva142 years ago
awesome tutorial!

Which extruder did you use? can you sahare the plans or was it bought?

And the control board?
gyronictonic (author)  lsilva142 years ago
I used the modified QU-BD MBE as my extruder. It has the lever mod and a tapped raptor gear.

For the control board, i used the Printrboard
Jon_M2 years ago
I was super excited to see this instructable. I was a bit less excited when I saw that I'd have to have access to a 3-d printer to build this 3-d printer. I'm in no mans land when it comes to a shared workspace and I don't have the funds to buy a 3-d printer (alas the interest in building my own). Is there a way to buy the printed parts pre printed for this project?
gyronictonic (author)  Jon_M2 years ago
Sorry for the let down, reprap is geared towards the idea of building a 3d printers with printed parts. What you may be expecting is something called repstrap which is building a 3d printer with non printed parts. You can get printed parts from someone with a 3d printer around the world or i can print you one. Pm me so i can give you quote.
rhidalgo272 years ago
Te felicito, el diseño es excelente pero tengo una duda y la electronica?...los circuitos??? donde podemos conseguirlos?, gracias.
jkolar12 years ago

Me and my friend really liked your 3d Printer so we decided to build a copy of yours 3dPrintMI during summer holidays. We come from Slovenia, Europe ( ) and here we don't have much resources for this project. In your Bills of Material you included some 3d printed parts which we can't print if we dont have any 3d printer around or if we try to print it via local 3d printing store it too expensive like 1000$. So I would like to ask you if you have any suggestions about that, if there are any internet sites which craft 3d parts for you or if you could printed these parts for us?

We would be really happy if you can help us.

Have a nice day,

Janez and Aleš
madmatt82 years ago
Hi, There are a few types of digital calipers. Which one should I buy?
1108-150 ELECTRONIC CALIPER 150mm/6"
1108-200 ELECTRONIC CALIPER 200mm/8"
1108-300 ELECTRONIC CALIPER 300mm/12"?

gyronictonic (author)  madmatt82 years ago
Any one of them should work and within your budget.
Silence2 years ago
Is there any kind of limitation to the size of these machines ?
I have a vision of printing out entire chest pieces, helmets and such for costumes :D
Since most of these use a spool of ABS plastic, if you build one as big as a coffee table for example you'll need to buy a large enough spool so it doesn't run out of "ink" in the middle of a project! But yeah I don't see why there would be any limitation on how long you can make the X Y and Z rails. Until it gets so long that the rail starts to sag in the middle which would throw off the printer head by that much distance.
I was thinking a 2 to 3 foot square table.
That sounds like it would be fine; I wouldn't go any higher in the Z direction though.
Another idea for chest and helmet pieces instead of a 3D printer is a thermoplastic vacuum former. The 2StoryProps guys at Makers Local 256 in Huntsville, AL made one for about $100 out of 2x4's, plywood, a shop vac, binder clips, and a broken toaster oven! They have pressed out things like Halo helmets, Daft Punk helmets, Judge Dredd helments, Monarch henchmen masks, and even the body parts for the Portal gun. It's awesome!
I was actually considering that option... prob is I don't know where to get any sheets of plastic for the process, and I would need a positive to start with. I've tried pepakura, didn't go far with that. I wish I didn't live in an apartment... then these projects could sit around half done till I muster the focus to finish one :P
@ gyronictonic
What type of electronics / software did you use?
I have a reprap (mendel) that is a true piece of work. None of the software packages I've tried seem to like telling the motors to function.
gyronictonic (author)  JRPeyesatsne2 years ago
I'm using a printrboard and repetier host to run my machine.
@ Silence:
Actually, there are some fundamental size limits to 3d-printing using this method (fused deposition modeling or FDM). When the parts get too big, the plastic no longer stays hot until the next layer is put down, which means that they no longer stick together and warp out of place. The exact size varies, but anything beyond about 15" square will not work.

Alternatives include powder based printing (which is expensive for home users), resin based printing (ditto), and CNC routing/milling of parts from stock. Of the 3, CNC carving is the cheapest, although the machines themselves are still more expensive than 3d printers. The benefit is that you can use almost any material you want, so you can use cheap wood, or plastic, or wax, or aluminum. The downside is that you have some limits on what type of shapes you can actually carve.
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